One of the satisfactions of reading a poet's selected works is the opportunity to observe that poet's artistic growth, the recurrent themes or images, and if we’re lucky, the spectacle of the poet maturing into the providence of his poetic destiny. The poems in Michael Hannon's Imaginary Burden: Selected Poems are haunted by the absolute, and the scope of his inquiry is immense. Hannon confronts the nature of consciousness, its liabilities and limitations, which leads him to question the very nature of being; he's always looking at the big picture.
— Gary Young, from the Introduction
Michael Hannon is an American original — for fifty years he has been writing a deep, unadorned, almost mythic poetry unlike any other poet I know of. I know of no other poet who melds a vision of the inner self and the ineffable world, and does so with such craft and illuminating grace. The effect of his poems can be like looking into a desert vastness at night when the landscape is suddenly lit up by a flash of lightning. Hannon takes us back to an ancient source of what poetry tries to do — explore the enigmas and mystery of being. His is a poetry of revelation and wonder.
The owl levitates,
the shark rushes forward
pushing a little wave full of stars,
and the mind falls back on its senses,
having been, beyond words,
in the presence of love.
Like a great temple bell, struck hard, Hannon's poems will resonate with quietude and beatitude long after you have read them.
— Joseph Stroud